Quality Matters

Janet working with an instructor

Committed To Excellence In Online Education

Quality Matters is a research-based, peer-reviewed model for continuous improvement of online and hybrid courses. A member of the Quality Matters (QM) Program, the UA is committed to providing excellence in online education by designing courses that meet and exceed the Quality Matters Rubric.

Learn more: Quality Matters.

The QM peer review process uses a research-based rubric characterized by four principles:

  • Continuous- courses receive either a Met or Not Met with the goal of all courses eventually meeting all standards
  • Centered- on best practices in course design that create quality online courses
  • Collegial- both instructor and reviewer contribute to the review process
  • Collaborative- the review is based on evidence found in the course and recommendations acknowledge that there are many ways to meet each standard

Quality Matters has three core components: the rubric, the peer review process, and professional development. We use all three components to support continuous improvement.

The Rubric

Based on research-supported and published best practices, the QM Rubric is a set of standards used to review the design of online and blended courses. The Rubric is complete with Annotations that explain the application of the Standards and the relationship among them. A scoring system and set of online tools facilitate the evaluation by a team of reviewers. (QM 6th Ed. Rubric Workbook)

Peer Reviews

We conduct internal and external reviews to encourage instructors to take time to reflect on their course design and engage in a collaborative process with the intention of promoting student success in an online course.

Learn more: Download the Review Standards from the QM Higher Education Rubric.

Learn more: Request the fully annotated QM Rubric.

External Reviews

Official reviews can be completed at a substantial cost savings as part of our QM Arizona Consortium membership. Courses are eligible for external review after they have been offered at least twice and have gone through our internal review process.

Courses that receive a Met rating may display and advertise the QM certification seal on their course and any other print or web materials.

Learn more: Examine Course Design Through the Eyes of a Learner.

Internal Reviews

As part of our continuous improvement model, internal reviews are an abbreviated version of the external review process. By tailoring the review process, we are able to focus on the current course design priorities and needs that best support our faculty while maintaining the rigor of QM.

Learn more: Request a QM Review.

QM Professional Development

We offer two workshops free of charge to the University community. These rigorous workshops are developed by QM and facilitated by Digital Learning.

The Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) is the introductory workshop for the QM rubric and how to apply it to review course design.

The Improving Your Online Course (IYOC) provides instructors who are currently teaching online a framework to review their course and create an improvement plan.

To register for upcoming workshops, please visit Events. To learn more about QM at the UA, contact Janet Smith.